Saturday, May 14, 2011

exhaust face

yay! no TB! no cavities! healthy as a clifbar (well, minus the whole worm in tummy thing...)
anyway, quick post with lots of pics again.

after returning from the wonderful city of dakar, i arrive in a village overrun with human beings. my tiny village of 200 easily swelled to over 1500. the gamou has arrived and busloads and truckloads of family members are pouring in for the religious awakening event of yang yang. my family tried introducing me to people but it just didnt work and got exhaustive. this is the wife of your grandfather's brother's grandson, on your mom's side. but it was kinda cool to get to meet the entire extended family. i've never been to a family reunion before (my family doesnt have one) so it was entertaining to watch. annmarie and abby also came up to enjoy the festivities.

the kitchen was constantly packed and busy, what with all the cooking and feeding of hundreds of mouths. the family had to slaughter 2 cows. TWO COWS!! jeez...

people came in from dakar and thies and touba and louga and st louis and linguere and dahra. some even as far as kaolack and tamba.

my brothers also invited a bunch of their friends. it was just children galore. throughout the whole ordeal, i really did miss peaceful yang yang. there were simply just too many people. overrun is an understatement. and guests are dirty! the state of my bathroom was abysmal.

and as i now sit typing this blog post, i once again have some minor GI issues. probably due to the fact that my food had passed through a million hands and clearly someone didnt wash their hands after using the bathroom. but it's fine. riding this one out - piece of cake.

it could also have been the gross meat we kept eating. im thinking the family didnt do a very good job cleaning the remnants of cow shit off the the beef (i witnessed) and maybe that's what did it.

you can seriously cook babies in pots this size. witch's brew 101 anyone?

the girls all got pretty, got their hairs did. this is my sister with her cool ass braids...

of course with the massive increase in vehicles moving into sandy yang yang, a few cars are bound to get stuck in my desert. here, teenage boys pushing a car to safe haven aka rocks.

first outfit of the day. really my swearing in outfit from last year, also used at korite and all baptisms last year.

abby and annmarie in their beautiful gamou getups

as a gift for the event, i bought the family 18 bottles of soda (which is a huge amount of boisson). of course with an event this size, it wasnt enough but luckily all the other guests brought gifts too so it was soda soda time 24/7. cant drink booze so gotta substitute with sugar and caffeine right? lol

this is my 2nd outfit that i did make for the gamou. i look like a clown but the pants are sweet. im wearing 'em in america. look at the white people all dressed up!

then when night fell, i wore my last outfit (the one i made for tabaski last year). remember the garbage bag? haha, it's some serious shit. but seriously, i kinda dig these flowly things down. lots of room to breathe. i also had on these white pointed slip-ons.

we didnt actually get to the gamou until 2am. i cant stand senegalese events. start earlier! this is painful! by 3, i had to leave because i was just too mentally and physically exhausted to stay any longer. (i also didnt feel very spiritual at the time)

my new homie (or as they say here, friend of one nose). he's learning english in dakar right now and he's taking his bac soon. he wants to go to canada. we're gonna be besties.

the gamou is over, the guests start leaving (slowly) and eventually yang yang returns to its famous tranquility. but there is no rest. i have work to do.

a small pulaar village that i was supposed to be working with but dropped because they never showed up, suddenly took interest and took initiative to invite me out there with my counterpart to include them in our causeries. that was kinda cool. so right now, im working with 5 pulaar villages and 3 wolof villages (the last pulaar village is MIA and uninterested)

next week, allah willing, we will start our 2nd round of talks - this time about the importance of post birthing visits that include vaccinations and baby weighing and proper nutrition. hopefully we'll talk about family planning and spacing out births as well.

abby and i have also started (almost finished, maybe next wednesday it will be done) a mural at the health post about child health.

the main picture is of a woman bringing her baby to the health post surrounded by 4 images: a mother breast feeding her baby, a baby being weighed, a baby being vaccinated, and a mother and baby sleeping under a mosquito net. i think it'll get the message across and it'll be beautiful.

im also chugging along with the Michele Sylvester Scholarship - not sure how im going to do the home visits in the 7 villages that the girls are from though.

and after speaking to my boss, we've decided that i should go ahead and build a health hut for the village of Ndala. it's the farthest pulaar village (farthest overall) from yang yang so it would make sense for them to get closer medical facilities (i use this term extremely loosely). that means when i finish writing up the project, get ready for email and facebook and personal message spams for DONATIONS! i just need to raise around USD1500 so that's not too bad right?!

the new kids of the region will be here in a couple of hours. in less than a week, i really will have neighbors!

busy, busy